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Comments

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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

DrXym Re:Of course you use force control to run fast. (87 comments)

Actually the first thing you need is a giant plastic ball. Let your robot run inside the ball like a hamster. Then you don't have to worry about half of this stuff.

yesterday
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3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

DrXym Re:And it looks abysmal too (132 comments)

With greater quality and accuracy, yes, but not far less time. 40 large mold sets would take quite some time to produce and be massively more expensive. Once the molds are made, they would be faster, but the break even point in time would probably be a couple to a dozen cars, the break even point on cost would probably be in the thousands.

Most cars would be sold in the thousands and besides, nobody would buy a car if the finish was as bad as this. They only achieved the speed at all by rushing the printing, extruding from a wide nozzle. If they were to use high precision nozzles to achieve makerbot quality finish it'd take 100x the time and it still wouldn't look great. It's just not practical except for the crudest of prototypes.

2 days ago
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3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

DrXym And it looks abysmal too (132 comments)

Most extruded plastic 3D printers look bad, but this particular one looks terrible. The flaws are big enough to see in the promo video in SD. It's like a lumpy coil pot.

As usual 3D printing is being used as an excuse for free publicity. Most of the parts could have been injection moulded with far greater quality & accuracy in far less time, assuming plastic was the best material to make them with in the first place.

2 days ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

DrXym Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

The US was bitching that Apple paid a really low rate of tax in Ireland just recently while Ireland was claiming it was all above board. I'm not sure if it was or not but Ireland has always insisted their taxation scheme is transparent - it's just that it allows big corps to launder their profits through a few countries to shake off the tax liabilities.

4 days ago
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Amazon Instant Video Now Available On Android

DrXym Re:Rather cumbersome (77 comments)

I'm guessing that if Amazon had added it to Google Play Store, rentals would have had to use Google payments where Google gets 30% instead of Amazon. That or it'd work only with Prime, not rentals.

The requirement to use their payment system probably doesn't apply to Amazon. Their Play policy

has an exemption which says "where payment is for digital content or goods that may be consumed outside of the app itself (e.g., buying songs that can be played on other music players)". As long as Amazon lets rentals play through other apps then they're probably perfectly okay.

A more likely reason it hasn't appeared until now have been Amazon's own ambitions to run an app store and tablets/phones that are tied to it. They're holding back the goodies to make their own platform more attractive by comparison. Google did it with YouTube to Microsoft, Blackberry did it with BBM and so on.

5 days ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

DrXym Re:My main takeaway (729 comments)

I suspect it is to some degree (even if that means Samsung flavoured phones of some kind) and it'll suck for battery life like all the rest.

BTW I think it looks like a nice watch but looks should never be at the expense of doing watchy things like telling the time. A watch design that turns off to save battery is a fundamentally broken design.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

DrXym Re:Trust us with your payments (729 comments)

On the plus side, if your credit card is hacked it's unlikely that someone will reveal pictures of it covered in semen.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

DrXym My main takeaway (729 comments)

Apple have launched a smart watch which is technically indistinct all the other smart watches.

All smart watches suck. They suck for being tied to a phone. They suck for being tied to specific phone OS and models. They suck for their battery life. They suck for their displays which turn off to save battery. Maybe if someone was upgrading from a fitbit or similar they'd be useful but I just don't see the mass market appeal in these things until they fix these issues.

about a week ago
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Fedora To Get a New Partition Manager

DrXym Re: So.... (170 comments)

Or similar bullshit by people who think "scripting" languages are appropriate for base system tools. Now you will have python dependency hell every-time you want to do something simple like repartition your disks. Oh, and is that project python 2 or python 3? On and on..

gparted is a graphical tool for editing partitions and already has a raft of dependencies. One more won't make a difference especially since python is used increasingly in core distributions for scripting instead of bash.

Secondly, perhaps the reason that gparted is considered a mess is precisely because it mixes up the graphical parts and the low level stuff in one package, a problem compounded because the installer also has its own partition editor. Fedora appears to have written a layer called blivet to abstract out partitioning from the installer GUI and therefore it makes sense that they use it in the desktop also.

about a week ago
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Restoring Salmon To Their Original Habitat -- With a Cannon

DrXym Doubt it would work (147 comments)

It's a neat idea but what happens if a fish gets stuck in one of these things, or if a tear develops and they're unceremoniously dumped onto a concrete sidewalk? What sort of pressures are involved if there are 30 or 40 fish in them at once? What's the maximum incline that can carry them? If the incline is low, are the fish going to shoved up a big spiral to reach the top in one go or are there staging pools? The tech in its current form seems more useful for fish farming where the need to move fish around is probably an every day issue.

Given that many dams (including the Three Gorges) have a boat lift and locks, perhaps the answer is to adapt these so that they also transport fish at the same time. Or adapt fish stairs so that they apply a principle similar to a lock where sections automatically raise and fall to give fish some respite and assistance to reach the top.

about a week ago
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MetaFilter Founder Says Vacation Firm Forged Court Docs To Scotch Review

DrXym Re:Simple Way to Deal with TimeShares (116 comments)

A better reaction - state you are not interested. Don't explain or elaborate, state. Don't give reasons that will be turned against you "Too expensive? Well what about if we...". Just say not interested and prepare to wrap it up. Better yet, don't go to a sales pitch in the first place. Anything that involves attending a "free seminar" or a "presentation" to collect some cold called prize is probably a scam.

I'm not even sure why anyone thinks the resale market is any better either. Yeah you avoid paying a full lump sum but you're still whacked with fees and hidden charges and have to deal with shysters. What's the point?

about two weeks ago
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MetaFilter Founder Says Vacation Firm Forged Court Docs To Scotch Review

DrXym Re:Do not ever (116 comments)

I can't see why anyone would agree to timeshare or possibly contemplate it representing good value. It's easy to book a hotel or rent apartments virtually anywhere in the world, usually from private owners for reasonable fees according to time of year and location.

All these timeshare deals involve a very large lump sum down up front and then resort management fees and other hidden charges. And I'm sure they'd be pushing to loan this lump sum for usurious rates. By the time it's all added up it's probably far more expensive than booking somewhere and that's before considering the lump sum is in the bank or there is no debt to furnish.

It's a scam pure and simple. Even "reputable" timeshare companies are pushing a bad value product. I don't quite understand why the rules governing it aren't stricter or the practice outright banned.

about two weeks ago
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MetaFilter Founder Says Vacation Firm Forged Court Docs To Scotch Review

DrXym Hope they enjoy the publicity (116 comments)

I suspect it will be enough for them to rebrand themselves. They probably run several brands already. The sad part is the way they are allowed to operate that way at all.

about two weeks ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

DrXym Re:Seriously? (116 comments)

I used to read books on a Palm Pilot and I still read them on my phone. Handy for a train other idle moments although nowhere close to ideal.

Anyway, I see a $20 e-reader as something which is viable and useful particularly if governments started issuing them to kids instead of a heap of text books. It's not even clear to me why governments pay (or expect parents to pay) for text books from publishers when they could use the same money to commission the text books and then distribute them electronically and DRM-free for nothing.

about two weeks ago
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You Got Your Windows In My Linux

DrXym Re:What's wrong with Windows Server? (613 comments)

On Windows services.msc is the snap-in GUI for services. It's the thing that tells you what is running, has options to stop / start them and property sheet to see what user they're run as and what they depend on. It's not a pretty GUI but it does its job. The biggest issue with Windows services is there are too damned many of them. I think Microsoft should implement some kind of higher level grouping so that it's easier to figure out what can be safely turned off. Another tangential peeve is MMC isn't hi-dpi aware which means all the snap-ins are blurry on my laptop.

I don't see that it has much bearing to systemd or init beyond implementing the same basic concept of having system processes that can be started and stopped (and a manual or automatic method of ordering their launch). Unix daemon monitoring GUIs have had start/stop buttons and status for the fundamental reason that Windows does.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

DrXym Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

And therein the analogy becomes obvious. Find some elitist niche of the car world, or the plane world, or anywhere else where the choice is self assembly or buying something off the shelf and you will find people looking down on you. It's fine for them that they enjoy building their "thing" (whatever it may be) from scratch. It doesn't mean people who choose to buy something ready made with the intent of using it for something are somehow sheep.

The typical reason that the word "sheep", "sheeple" etc. comes into a conversation is because the person throwing the word around has already decided they are morally and intellectually superior and cannot countenance another point of view.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

DrXym Re:Vague article is vague (294 comments)

Yup I guess I did - not sure how since I posted it in the same window as another post I made which ended up in the correct thread.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

DrXym Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

Oh dear oh dear. Just because someone buys a PC and expects it to work out of the box (the horror), does not make them a "sheep". Are you a "sheep" for buying an assembled car instead of building one from parts?

Besides that, I bet most Linux users tend to be quite conservative in their hardware choices. They know that new hardware + Linux is a recipe for disaster and it's better to wait and see what works reliably. Some may even only run Linux on older or even hand-me-down hardware which is known to work.

That might change if Steambox / SteamOS took off and became a viable choice for gamers. Perhaps then the likes of Intel / NVidia / AMD and the board makers may pay more attention to supporting Linux properly from the beginning. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

DrXym Vague article is vague (294 comments)

It neglects to say which cities, which direction the ash is likely to spread, or provide a diagram to aid in that understanding.

about two weeks ago
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New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

DrXym Re:Do they know more than they let on? (121 comments)

i think if there were a pyroclastic flow heading toard me I would hop in my pool and hold my breath at the bottom. then after the heat wave had passed I would climb on my roof so I don't get buried by the ash. would that work?

No, it would just turn you into a delicious pool sized bowl of soup.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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GNOME Shell extensions are live

DrXym DrXym writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DrXym (126579) writes "GNOME Shell has been criticized for certain shortcomings when compared to GNOME 2.x. Chief amongst them was that 2.x offered panel applets whereas 3.x is seemingly lacking any such functionality. What most people don't know is that GNOME Shell has a rich extension framework similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons and the official site to install extensions has gone live. So if you yearn for an application menu, or a dock, or a status monitor then head on over. Extensions can be installed with a few clicks and removed just as easily.

Someone should offer a prize to the first extension that implements Unity and global menus over GNOME Shell. Perhaps it would convince Ubuntu to switch over and end this spat once and for all."

Link to Original Source
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Warner going Blu Ray exclusive

DrXym DrXym writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DrXym (126579) writes "Engadget are reporting that Warner is going to go Blu-Ray exclusive. Even though I am a Blu-Ray supporter myself this announcement is shocking since it could easily have gone the other way. It drives a stake into the heart of the HD DVD camp and might mean at last that an end is in sight for HD physical format war."
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SCO stock takes a dump

DrXym DrXym writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrXym (126579) writes "The SCO ball of twine keeps unravelling. Following the total disintegration of their legal case on Friday, SCO's stock took a pounding today falling a whopping 70%. That puts SCOX well and truly into NASDAQ delisting territory, assuming they last the 120 days required to be removed. So long SCO, we hardly knew ye."
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DrXym DrXym writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DrXym (126579) writes "Remember that stuff about the PS3 supporting Linux? Well it's true as as this press release from Yellow Dog Linux shows. PS3 owners will be able to install Yellow Dog Linux 5.0 which includes standard Linux apps such as Firefox 1.5.0, OpenOffice 2.0 as standard. Interestingly it also includes a Cell SDK and Enlightenment E17 for the desktop experience. What remains to be seen is whether it plays nice alongside your ability to play games, download stuff, watch movies etc. or is it an all or nothing affair?"

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